Tag Archives: the end of the world

Tip of the Iceberg Age.

 

The Museum of Natural History in Cleveland was the first.

A wooly mammoth, life sized, in a room trimmed by taxidermy. Murals, glass encased, tracing the alleged history of its life on this planet. Something about a monster ice floe and fossilized bones of sufficiency to reconstruct the entire elephant. On a trip with the eighth grade science classes, I was disinterested. The Age of Aquarius was all the rage that year.

A month or two ago, I and my equally old boyfriend took a day trip back to Cleveland. Yep; right alongside the whole Paleolithic Age, that wooly mammoth was still there.

The pre-historic had a new meaning to us, now, as we mutely viewed primate skulls and their gradual similarity to our own. Two elderly lesbians, aged a good decade beyond us, eagerly soaked up the narratives in each chapter of the timeline, reading aloud to one another as if no one else were in either the room or the world, for that matter.

A few hundred miles south of the museum, President Trump was meeting with his military advisors. The Senate and Congress were addressing the trespasses of members of his campaign committee and cabinet. Televised pundits worked overtime to cover everything in a single news cycle. The stock market was ballooning.

Biblical prophets had foretold the Last Days. Gog and MaGog would be lining up, all the power centering in Israel, then Jesus would come in the clouds and all the born-again Christians would disappear into the air with Him along with the dead in Christ, which would have been summoned first from the grave. Somewhere in Africa, in the midst of all this, a family of chimpanzees was screaming in the trees.

Today, it was Christmas. A snow squall the size of the North Pole swirled around outside our window, holding all of us living hostage until at least 2:45 pm while the prime rib seasoned in the new, French doored fridge. Having a “White Christmas” around this Great Lake used to be typical, so being enveloped in drifting and blowing snow felt oddly comforting, as if we weren’t really living in the Tip of the IceBerg Age. Maybe, for just one more night, the whole world would hold off melting with fervent heat before that great and terrible day of the Lord.

Twenty four hours hence, and a record breaking sixty three inches of pure as the driven. God only knows what our wooly mammoth would say about the whole thing.

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© 12/25/17  Ruth Ann Scanzillo         All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Be a civilized person; there’s still time. Thanks.

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“Woodshedding”.

 

It’s called woodshedding for a reason.

The Urban Dictionary reminds that the term finds its origin in the old woodsheds, where musicians would go for privacy so as not to be heard.

Music, not meant to be heard?

Oh, my dears.

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Back when Ego drove everything (and, some would vehemently argue, Ego always drives performers?), we’d eagerly set the ticker and get started on our incremental repetitions, determined to be the fastest gun in the west. Being the fastest equated with being the best. Or, not.

And, frankly, in college, everybody WANTED to be heard in hot competition for that seat.

The woodshed?

Hardly. Doors open, baby.

Virtuosity was expected. It was built in. Audiences wanted to be dazzled.

But, what of [mere] beauty?

All wonderful offerings, lest they be the bequest of the Divine, take time to accomplish.

And, I think I’d rather spend mine perfecting the turn of a phrase, for all its delicacy and subtlety, and tone for its palette of color. The body of music waiting in silence to be found and played that requires not a moment of pyrotechnique is enormous. And, that which waits to be created: infinite.

Perhaps it’s a phase of life. You know, seeing the end from the beginning. Only, in this case, it’s not the end of the piece; it’s the end of the world, for God’s sake.

Just how much real time is there remaining, in any life, to wait for a metronome to dictate the next move?

If you find me in a woodshed, I hope to be heard playing Bach.

With the windows open.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  9/4/16  All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Sing on, call birds!